Weekly Digest – October 13th 2023

Any tax deadline time is stressful and demanding for accounting firms and staff, but as we approach our final deadline for the 2023 tax season the stress of completing returns and receiving e-file and other documents can really take a toll.  I am glad to be able to live and work so close to Rockaway Beach, Queens and to be able to take a break or short walk on the beach…

Rough Surf at Sunrise
Rough Surf at Sunrise

Our mid-day breaks seam to lead us to the garden to check on my fig tree and pick some ripe figs, tomatoes and herbs…

Fig & Tomato Harvest Time At Last
Fig & Tomato Harvest Time At Last

Last Friday Raquel and I added grilled figs with fetta and thyme and a tomato, fig and fetta salad our lunch…

We Cooked!
We Cooked!

I am happy to report that our solar panels were hard at work on the sunny days this week producing energy we are putting to good use, once we receive final approval from the NYC Buildings Department and PSEG we can bank our excess production and be less dependent on the grid…

55.5 KWH of Energy Produced Today
55.5 KWH of Energy Produced Today

It’s hard to get a good shot of the app read out, but it’s exciting to see that not only will we be receiving tax credits on our 2023 federal and state income tax returns, we will be reducing our carbon footprint.

We are still working through the last few 2022 personal tax returns as we approach October 16th, wish us luck please.  For the rest of you I hope you have great plans and weather this weekend.

Weekly Take Away

I am sure this weekly take away is not new:  “Begin or Work with the End in Mind”.  This week’s office huddle centered around the office processes which are working really well but I also highlighted an issue I encountered during what should have been a final corporate tax return review.  Something didn’t add up.  Thanks to the help of Raquel and Monica I was able to pinpoint the outlier, caused by a minimal change to a prior years’ financial statement.  We spent time on something we should not have had to, but the incident really highlighted an important automation system work strategy “remember the person following you in the work process”.  It was perfect timing and we spent a few minutes tweaking our quarterly financial review checklist to include a refence to checking for stale outstanding checks and making sure to void them before year end.

TAX ISSUES/TAX PLANNING

Still Time to Make Annual SEP/IRA Plan Contribution

The upcoming individual tax return filing deadline of October 16th is also a deadline for funding your company’s SEP/IRA for sole proprietorships.  This is a great tax minimization planning technique, take the funds from the tax liability pocket and put them into the pension plan pocket where they can grow tax free until retirement or required distribution dates.

Use Your 2022 Tax Refund to Invest in US Savings Bonds

In our office we say “any day we learn something new is a good day”, so I was really glad to be reminded about this option for IRS refunds from one of my clients.   We looked up the rules together and I accessed the Treasury Direct website to learn the details and then completed that client’s tax return using the appropriate forms.  These bonds are currently paying a good rate of interest that is tax free so a win win.  So consider filing your tax return, and save part or all of your refund in US Savings Bonds. Submit Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases) when you file your return. Let us know before we finalize and submit your returns; you don’t need to open an account in advance with the Treasury Department. Once your return is completed and e-filed including Form 8888 with your tax return the IRS will arrange for your U.S. savings bonds to be mailed to you.

ECONOMY

The Great Mismatch: Millions of Open Positions, Why Does the Job Market Feel So Dire?

Despite what should be encouraging data from the Labor Department, a majority of job seekers are not finding the opportunities they want. The era of confounding economic data and indicators stretches on.

Per David Kelly the US Economy is Vulnerable to Recession and Will Slow Down

J.P. Morgan Asset Management chief global strategist David Kelly discusses the multiple headwinds facing the U.S. economy.

Disney AI Task Force is Created to Explore Cost Cutting Ideas

Disney plans to create an internal task force to exploit artificial intelligence technology to cut costs and develop new products even as it battles labor unions who are trying to limit the use of the technology. “Reuters was first to report Disney’s plans to create an internal task force to exploit artificial intelligence technology to cut costs and develop new products even as it battles labor unions who are trying to limit the use of the technology. AI is expected to touch every corner of the entertainment conglomerate and insiders gave Reuters exclusive insight into its ambitions.”

FBI Warns of Rising Elder Fraud Crime Rates as Scammers Steal Billions

“Americans over 60 are increasingly falling victim to crimes of fraud perpetrated online and over the phone at rates that add up to billions in losses each year, and federal investigators are warning that the scammers are becoming more sophisticated in the ploys they use to get their victims to hand over large sums of money.   An estimated $28.3 billion is lost to elder fraud scams each year, according to a recent AARP Study. It found that 72% — or more than $20 billion — is taken by individuals who are known to the victims, like family members, friends or advisers. The study says many of the scams that account for the nearly $30 billion lost go unreported, and the FBI is now urging anyone who encounters suspicious activity online to disengage and report the conduct to law enforcement. ”

Bank of America Analysts “Housing Crash Will Not Mimic 2008”

Bank of America economists are nixing concerns about a housing crash like the one experienced in 2008. Instead, they say, the market is more reminiscent of four decades ago.  Unlike in 2008, there’s no evidence of overdevelopment from builders or over-leveraging by homebuyers and owners. The housing market today is largely dealing with the fallout from tight monetary policy — similar to 1980.  There are some key differences, though, but the main takeaway from Bank of America is that there’s still a rough road ahead for housing.”

Plastic Surgery Industry, A Key Economic Indicator

There are a lot of weird economic indicators out there. Everything from lipstick, to men’s underwear, to cardboard boxes have a story to tell about the economy. Anyone looking for more under-the-radar economic signals can add plastic surgery to the list.

Tracking Supply Disruptions and Inflation Impact on Small Business

The volatile and complex nature of the challenges businesses faced during the Covid-19 pandemic presented multiple dilemmas for business owners, but two challenges emerged as paramount: supply chain disruptions and inflation.

Inflation is ‘Always Going to be a Risk’

Inflation is “always going to be a risk” in the U.S. due to structural changes in the labor market, according to Nela Richardson, chief economist at payroll processing firm ADP.

GENERAL RESOURCES

We sincerely hope that you and your family are well and remain well. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.

If you need help with your accounting, want to create a tax minimization plan, want to discuss your business growth plan or your finances, are concerned about retirement goals or need to be held accountable for your 90 day action plan, contact us for a complimentary discovery session or an appointment to just get started

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